Frances Bavier thought that Andy Griffith invented the way Mayberry residents speak on ''The Andy Griffith Show''
"I thought Andy was making it up."
If you didn't grow up in the South and your first exposure to it was based on The Andy Griffith Show, the series might have been a shock to the system. For someone like Frances Bavier, who was born and raised in New York City, her knowledge of the South was limited at best. In fact, when Bavier first read the script for The Andy Griffith Show when she had the opportunity to join the cast, she assumed that the diction was an exaggeration.
In an interview with The Calgary Herald, Bavier revealed that her first response to the script was "But people simply don't talk like that..." Now granted, people in the South don't run around repeating phrases like "Nip it in the bud!" over and over again, but the region has its own unique accent and utilizes a special sort of dialogue.
Still, Bavier accepted the role, and Aunt Bee was born, destined to be beloved by all.
But while the series was a success, Bavier still assumed that the dialogue in the show was exaggerated for comedic effect. It wasn't until she visited the South that she realized that the bit wasn't slapstick; it was real life. The actor stated, "It was my first trip to the South. I didn't believe it before. I thought Andy was making it up."
Still, Bavier fell in love with the South the same way so many viewers fell in love with the town of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show. The actor was so taken with the southern United States that she even considered making her trip a bit more permanent. She confessed, "I almost put money down on an old house in Silver City, N.C. But the real estate man knew I was acting impulsively and made me think it over."
She reasoned, "I do believe in many ways it's a better life in a small town. But I worry whether you always have to be politic and polite. I think it takes skill to live in a small town and you have to tread very gently."
After she left acting, Bavier was able to make her dream a reality, and she actually moved to North Carolina and purchased a house. So, while Aunt Bee may have had a small-town life, the thing we're most proud of is her enormous heart.